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Question One Narrative, Question Them All

Question One Narrative, Question Them All


I grew up with little food and without electricity near a national park in Southeast Asia after a devastating war. From time to time, the men in my village hunted wild animals like hogs, deer, and porcupines to get some meat for the children. The forests quickly became thinner as the local population grew fast. I had a typical third-world childhood. The first time electricity, although intermittent and expensive, came was in 1987, allowing us to enjoy the FIFA World Cup, store food in fridges, read books in the evenings and sleep under a fan. Some gold was found, shaking up the whole quiet town with its usual environmental and social problems for a while. A third of my female friends married quickly before finishing high school. 

Life gave me an opportunity to pursue university education abroad. When I arrived in the West, I eagerly embraced what I thought was free and independent media that constantly stuffed people with climate change problems and the doom of earth and humanity. Little did I know about scientific debates around the subject. I chose to study international public law and environmental law at a well-known European center. I love justice as much as forests and trees, and I even became an amateur mushroom hunter in temperate climates. 

It took me a long time to question the official climate narrative. After graduation, I was busy with successive jobs outside the environmental law field and founding a young family. That experience in international forums and private philanthropy later helped me understand how international conventions and consensuses were influenced and reached. 

The Covid-19 crisis came, imposing on me, like on billions of voiceless people, a personal toll. A few months in, when I saw a headline on “Covid deniers,” something clicked in my mind. I had known a similar term “climate deniers.” Why were those who disagreed with the narratives named deniers? That was how I went down the rabbit hole. 

Never had I imagined that I would publicly criticize the UN policies, but I did. Never had I imagined that I would sign the “There Is No Climate Emergency” Declaration and collaborate with Clintel‘s (Climate Intelligence) translational projects, but I did. I have been writing about the WHO (World Health Organization) pandemic text projects, and still nothing substantial on environmental issues. Deep down, I feel ashamed for having believed in the official climate narrative. It is difficult to make confessions about our mistakes and stupidity, unlike Dr. Patrick Moore did it publicly in his wonderful Confessions of A Greenpeace Dropout.

So, how could I be judged a climate denier or a misinformation spreader? Not only me, but all my fellow authors at Brownstone Institute. DeSmog, “founded by Jim Hoggan of James Hoggan & Associates, one of Canada’s leading public relations firms” in January 2006 “to clear the PR pollution that is clouding the science and solutions to climate change,” has listed all of us there, minutiously recording the years of our first publications and the author pages. This website proudly informs that its “research database provides vital information on over 800 organizations and individuals responsible for spreading misinformation on a range of energy and science topics.” Of course, it also profiles Brownstone Institute as the umbrella organization without offering any critical analysis regarding its mission or its stance on Covid-19.

What would you think of, or characterize those who don’t actually contribute to intellectual and societal debates but have time to profile organizations and individuals, without tangible evidence, accusing these of being dangerous to society? Who funds them to do so? Would such actions constitute their potential responsibility if the concerned organizations and individuals are targeted or harmed by unstable individuals? Well, you might want to check on these databases all the organizations and individuals you know and make your own opinion on this website and the people behind it. Better, check out the profiles of some famous “climate deniers” in the recent film Climate: The Movie (The Cold Truth)

It is a shame that some people still don’t question other narratives after experiencing profound injustices and horrendous treatments during the Covid-19 response for the so-called “greater good.” The journey to find the truth is nevertheless personal and relatively painful, where we are led to confront ourselves, our humility, faith, and principles. I don’t think it is easy to impose that on others, but we can plant seeds, for they may grow on fertile soil.

Personally, I don’t feel irritated. I see DeSmog’s profiling as a badge of honor. Finally, without much effort, I have been recognized as someone who questions rather than blindly following and living off another’s dogma. 

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  • Thi Thuy Van Dinh

    Dr. Thi Thuy Van Dinh (LLM, PhD) worked on international law in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Subsequently, she managed multilateral organization partnerships for Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund and led environmental health technology development efforts for low-resource settings.

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